Rothesay badminton ace beats Swede for first time

Sarah Sidebottom (right) and women's doubles partner Lauren Middleton reached the last 16 at last week's F2 Forza Slovak Open
Sarah Sidebottom (right) and women's doubles partner Lauren Middleton reached the last 16 at last week's F2 Forza Slovak Open

Rothesay badminton ace Sarah Sidebottom gained a long awaited victory over Swedish rival Maria Persson at last week’s F2 Forza Slovak Open, writes Craig Goldthorp.

Sarah and playing partner Lauren Middleton saw off Persson and fellow Swede Nathalie Wang in the women’s doubles first round.

“I used to play against Maria in some junior tournaments when I was 13 or 14,” Sarah told The Buteman.

“She was a really good player when we were younger.

“I never beat her back then so it was good to finally win a game against her.

“I hadn’t seen her for years so it was weird seeing her.

“It ended up being a straightforward win.

“We had watched video footage of the Swedish pair playing before we played, so we had a game plan.

“We were expecting it to be a bit closer than it was but our tactics proved to work pretty well.

“So we were pleased with the result.”

Sadly, Sarah and Lauren lost 21-8, 21-18 in the next round to Estonian pair Kati-Kreet Marran and Helina Ruutel, the eventual overall winners.

Sarah added: “We gave away points we shouldn’t have in the first set, when there were too many unforced errors.

“The second set was much better, although we felt really gutted when we came off as we were leading 16-12 at one point.

“The Estonian pair were the eventual winners, so if we had beaten them then who knows, we could have gone on to win.”

Sarah’s confidence was further boosted by winning two mixed doubles matches in partnership with Jack MacGregor in the mixed doubles, to reach the quarter-finals before finally bowing out.

The 18-year-old doesn’t have any competitive badminton this weekend.

She is looking forward to playing in a final with her Belgian club Bad Oupeye the following weekend.